Lower Beeding Horticultural Society

Our Society is affiliated to the RHS and currently has about eighty members who actively contribute to the growing of flowers and vegetables in the Village. It was founded in 1896 and has run continuously since except for short breaks during the second war. The Society also works hard to help raise money for the Lower Beeding Association by holding plant sales, fun events and general support. This poster, right, is original and dates back to 1906 when our show represented the main social event in the village, allowing local estate gardeners – and the school – the afternoon off.

Horticultural society logo

The two highlights of the year are the Spring and Summer Shows. While these are competitive, the emphasis is on the fun and taking part and all members of the family are encouraged to enter. The Society is always on hand to give advice and encouragement and the number of junior entrants has grown significantly in the past few years.

Throughout the year, the Society sends out newsletters with upcoming events and tips for the garden. There are various garden visits, often subsidised, and we invite respected horticulturists to deliver several talks each year to broaden our knowledge, normally in the village hall with refreshments. Notice of all events appears in the parish magazine.

In recent years, a seed discount scheme has been established whereby the members can get significant discounts on seeds, vegetable plants, potatoes and compost. In addition we run a discount scheme for composts and garden sundries, supported by a local garden centre. Average savings of 25% are enjoyed by participants in this scheme. The average saving on orders for both these schemes more than covers the membership fee. This year we have introduced a new event into our calendar, a plant sale in early May, with significant discounts on annuals (supplied by a local nursery), perennials (supplied by a nursery in Norfolk), and vegetables. This is augmented by a smaller plant sale at the village fete.

The end of the year sees the AGM where the committee for the following year are voted in, discuss the past year and have a wonderful meal. In 2012, fifty members enjoyed the information, good chat, wine and food. Finally, around Christmas and the new year, we run a social event for our members and guests. This might be skittles at the Bull in Shermanbury or it might be a quiz night in the village hall.

We are a very friendly Society and encourage anyone with an inkling of interest in growing their own plants/food to join. Current fees are £5 per year. To join please contact our treasurer, Roy Broadhurst, on 01403 891055 / roy.broadhurst@violetsbarn.co.uk